Do things last minute

Self-proclaimed wisemen, productivity experts, and wanna-be executives teach you to complete tasks ahead of time, in an organized and systematic way. Small tasks? Do them immediately. It’s the only way to be an effective executive.

No.

Don’t do things now or ahead of time. Do them last minute.

Let’s face it — you’ll never put the energy, soul, and grit into a task or a project as you would when you do it scrambling under pressure, last minute.

Doing things last minute is stressful. What, you don’t like feeling stressed? Maybe this work isn’t for you.

Delivering work ahead of time is inconsiderate and selfish. If you do it before your teammate or collaborator, all you do is make them feel less adequate, worthless. How would you feel if somebody did that to you? Take the high road, be the bigger person. Deliver last minute.

Living a conscious and mindful life requires staying in the present. Not past — thinking what could’ve been. Not future — trying to control it. Present. And being in the present requires that you deliver last minute. Because it’s only last minute that somebody can truly appreciate what they need in the present.

And consider how project deadlines are phrased.

Deliverables are due one month before the deadline.

— Nobody Ever

Projects ask you to deliver at a certain time, not before that time. Please don’t be so arrogant to deliver ahead of time.

Then, consider your employer, collaborator, or customer. They ask you to deliver a task, project, or product by a certain time. Why would you assume they know what they will need in the future? In fact, they don’t. They can only know what they need when they need it, and that is last minute. Not a month ahead, not a week ahead. At the deadline.

Same with meetings. Asking for a person’s time in the present is thoughtful and considerate. Asking them to allocate their time in the future is disrespectful. They have no clue how will they feel, what will they do, or where will they be a week from now.

When did we change the meaning of “timely” and “on time” to mean “ahead of time”?

The best time to complete a task is last minute. The next best time is one minute before that. But any earlier would be a disaster, for you and everyone around you. Don’t do it.

What I wrote here is satire. It’s not meant as serious advice. ;)

I’m a scientist, founder, and author.